More violent storms from rising pollution

Published September 26, 2020, 3:59 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Scientists have long established that rising temperatures around the world are spawning more violent storms while melting more ice in the polar regions. And the world is getting hotter because of the carbon emissions billowing daily into the atmosphere from factories of the industrial nations.
Last Monday, Oxfam said new research shows that the richest 1 percent of the world’s population is responsible for more than twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest half. This poorest half consists of some 3.1 billion people mostly living in remote areas of the globe.

Oxfam disclosed the fresh findings of the Stockholm Environment Institute that there is an ever widening “carbon inequality” in the world today. The most pollution is coming from the two most industrialized countries on the globe — the United States and China. Unfortunately for us, their carbon emissions do not stay over their lands; they spread to other countries. And the rising heat they cause also spreads around the world.

The heat is melting icebergs at the poles, causing ocean levels to rise which, in turn, threatens low-lying islands around the world, such as some of our own in the Philippines. The heat has also spawned more and more violent storms.

The US itself has been recently hit repeatedly by hurricanes, two of them causing considerable destruction and death in Louisiana. Another one is now threatening Texas. Meanwhile, forest fires are raging in California, partly caused by the hotter climate. Way down south, fires have caused so much damage to the Amazon forest in Brazil.

There is extreme economic inequality in the world today and it is causing an ever-widening “carbon inequality” which, in turn, is causing extreme weather impacting all the nations of the world, both rich and poor.

At the 2015 Paris climate conference, every nation submitted individual plans to reduce its carbon emissions, some through greater use of renewable energy to replace highly polluting coal and gas. We can only hope that all these nations, including our own, will strive harder to carry out their plans and pledges.